Blake Lively's trainer is sharing weight loss tips.
On Monday, the All I See Is You actress took to Instagram to reveal that she's lost 61 pounds since giving birth to her and Ryan Reynolds' second child in September 2016. Helping Blake throughout her 14-month weight loss journey was her trainer, Don Saladino, who also trains Ryan and Blake's former Gossip Girl co-star Sebastian Stan.
"Turns out you can't lose the 61 lbs you gained during pregnancy by just scrolling through instragram and wondering why you don't look like all the bikini models. Thanks @donsaladino for kickin my A double S into shape. 10 months to gain, 14 months to lose. Feeling very proud," Blake shared with her social media followers.
Now, Don is revealing how Blake lost the weight in an exclusive interview with E! News.
E!: Take us through the workout regimen you used for Blake. 61 lbs. is a lot of weight! How do you start her out?
DS: The thing with Blake is that we always pay attention to food quality. The biggest misconception is food deficit. I don't believe in that. I've had a lot of experience in the past with getting people ready for magazine covers, movies, fitness stages, and I probably know body composition better than anyone-not to sound cocky, but I have been doing this for 20 years. The big mistake is getting someone in a caloric deficit. What ends up happening, I understand that the thought process is that you have to restrict calories to lose pounds, but what you're typically doing with the general population, you are taking someone who is used to having cookies, pizza, or pasta and you are starving them of food. So now you are removing everything. Not only the food that they love, but food in general. I believe that food is medicine. I believe that we can still get a substantial amount of calories, proteins, carbs and fats to feed the body and become a fat burning furnace. That's what we did with Blake. We did not put Blake on any crazy, strict diet. That's not who she is. That's not what she wants people to think she is. She enjoys eating delicious foods just like anyone else.
E!: Can you tell us an average day on what the meal plan and workout routine would be for Blake?
DS: I can't but I can tell you what her values are and what she pays attention to. It's just not realistic, it changed every day. She was on set, traveling, raising two kids. She doesn't eat the same food every day. She tries to focus on good quality food. If she's eating pasta, it's a good quality pasta. If she's eating cookies, its good quality cookies. She tries to avoid process foods, and junk foods. There's a list of foods that one can eat on any budget that isn't garbage. This is a very attainable way to do things, and I think anyone can do it the way she does it. She doesn't drink alcohol. She focuses on things in moderation and doesn't deprive herself of a dessert if she's at a party.
DS: We kept the training very consistent. We made sure that she was in the gym 4-5 days a week. Certain days, we worked for an hour, and other days they only had 20-30 minutes because she's on a tough schedule with her kids. Other days, she had to hit it on her own. These are very attainable ways to go about doing things. When it came down to her losing weight in a short amount of time, that wasn't something we wanted to do. We knew if we could take our time and really focus more on how her clothes fit her rather than the scale. That's the same approach I take with everyone. I don't like quick fixes. Blake and I wish that people would be more realistic.
E!: Can you tell us more about the workout routine and what the important aspects were for Blake?
DS: We start out with 10 minutes of activation mobility and getting the body warmed up. She would come in and we would start with some foam rolling, start with a dynamic warmup. We would start with some corrective work to make sure her body is moving well. I work with a lot of moms and the one thing-especially with new moms is that they are either carrying the baby around on their hip, or they are developing an asymmetry. If I'm going to put a 20 lb bag on their arm, and you're going to walk around that for two hours, yeah your back is going to feel sore. The main thing with mothers is to get them in and unwind those asymmetries. We take a strength training approach. I do it with any female that I work with. The foundation of fat burning is weight training and cardio is needed, but it's the sprinkles on the ice cream. If you had to choose one or the other, I'm saying you want to go with resistance training-which is what we did with Blake, and then we would finish the day depending on her energy levels, with a high-intensity, slow steady state cardio. 9/10 times it was a slow state cardio. It depends on an individual's energy level. If a mom comes in and is tired from being up with her kids, or was working a job, or dealing with the daily stresses of life that moms deal with. Putting a mother under a high intensity interval training is one of the most irresponsible things that anyone can do. You can still burn calories during steady state cardio. We took it day by day.
E!: Going back to the meal plan, what did you have Blake follow? What was the ideal day like?
DS: Low carb is one of the worst things you can do as a human. When you remove carbs from the body, you are also removing water. When you take away the carbs you end up depriving your body of the energy it needs. You end up dehydrating the muscle of water. You end up losing weight but the next time you turn around and throw bad carbs in your body, you retain all that water back. Cabs are you fuel and your energy source. Carbs are not bad. Blake understood and fed her body energy. Blake tried to make sure her energy level was optimal through feeding her body what she needed. That meant eating whole foods. That meant if she wanted to have a piece of cake or a cookie, she would do that. Sometimes it was daily. By taking that approach, and exercising, and relieving her body of stress. She was able to get her body where she wanted it. It took 14 months but she looks incredible.
DS: I look at your proteins, vegetable and carbs. I don't really include fats because we can get away without having to add a lot of external fat. Each meal for me we say a palm size of protein, depending on the day-we juggle a carb. It depends on how your body process carbs. And veggies, people are not eating enough vegetables. Every meal has to be a protein, carb and veggie. For all of my typical clients, I would have them do three square meals a day, and then two shakes a day. The only company I work with is Garden of Life and their Sport line. All organic, non GMO company. I would have them do that for two weeks and measure and assess how their clothes are fitting them. After two weeks, we would adjust and see how their body is feeling. I would start adding carbs or more fat depending on their goals. The problem with eating is that people will give diets a chance for a couple of days and they really need to give it time. I think two weeks you can really how your energy levels are and see how your body can adapt.
E!: Has Blake hit her goal?
DS: There was never really a goal weight. She just said, 'Listen this is the process, this is what we need to be doing and I have to enjoy it. I don't want to put a lot of pressure on myself. I'm going to have good days and bad days and lets just let the process happen.' It took 14 months. I'm not saying it has to happen in 14 months, it just took her 14 months. Other people are taking the wrong approach because they are listening to people who are trying to sell them quick fixes. If I'm trying to sell a 14 month program, no one's going to buy that, but Blake doesn't look like she had two kids. She's really proud about it and she got her body to look where she feels comfortable.
E!: When she started, did she have a problem area that she wanted to focus on?
DS: I've been working with her for seven years. I've been working with Ryan for almost nine years. I've been with them for a while. Problem area, listen everyone has areas they want to work on. Especially after having a baby, I'm not saying her, but in general, everyone wants to work on their abdominals and their midsection. It wasn't about one specific area, but more about allowing her body to feel really good. If moms after they have a baby want to get their bodies to feel really good and energetic, then everything is going to happen.
E!: You've been training Ryan for a while now as well, who would you say is in better shape?
DS: Oh wow, well I have to bite my tongue on that one. I can tell you this, I have to separate them in the gym a lot. They are very cute together. They are an amazing husband and wife combo. They train together a lot. I just came from Ryan now, but Blake had an appointment. But yesterday, I trained them both together. They honestly are a fantastic couple.
E!: What's your take on cheat meals? Are you letting them cheat tomorrow for Valentine's day?
DS: They can do whatever they want. I don't believe in completely restricting someone. I'm trying to teach people to make good choices and have good values. If they are going out to dinner, or if someone is going out to dinner to celebrate something great, and if they want to have a meal-then have a meal. I try and explain that it's the nights where it's not necessary. Like a Tuesday night and no one is around the house and there's a bag of chips and they just decide to open it, those are things I don't want. I don't want people to think I'm the food police. When Ryan and Blake are preparing for something, they know what needs to get done. I try and remove a couple of things a few weeks and see how the body responds to it, and then if we have to step it up, we will. For them, we keep them looking great all year long.
E!: Now that Blake has dropped this weight, how will she maintain?
DS: Easy. It's the same way she got there. By moderation. You have to look at the individual day in and day out. If you are going on vacation, I want people to let their hair out and enjoy and then when they get back, let's get back to it. Its more about the values and light guidelines to follow. If they are happy and feel good, then that's the main goal.